Whole new world for Lowestoft boxer and Olympics hero Anthony Ogogo
Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo admits he will be feeling nervous before making his professional debut on Saturday evening against Kieron Gray.
However, the 24-year-old is confident he will be able to channel those feelings into making sure he marks his first fight in the professional ranks with victory.
Ogogo is, of course, used to the big occasion from his performances in securing an Olympic bronze medal in London last year.
But when he steps in the ring at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, on the undercard of Amir Khan's fight against Julio Diaz, he knows the rules of combat will be a lot different to what he's used to.
'I'm going to be nervous – I've never even fought without a head guard before,' said Ogogo, who signed with Golden Boy Promotions at the start of the year. 'Even when you're sparring you're wearing one because you want to minimise the risk of injury as much as possible.
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'I suppose it's just the unknown really – it's all new to me. He (Gray) is going to be used to it and I'm not but that's all part of making your professional debut.
'I'm going to be nervous but it's good to be like that – you've just got to channel it in the right way like I have done in the past.'
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Ogogo revealed he feels over the injury problems that dogged his preparations for the Olympics and insists fitness won't be a problem in the six-round bout.
'Everything has been going great – I've been unlucky in the past but I can honestly say for the first time in a long while that I'm waking up and the only thing I'm feeling is muscle soreness,' said the middleweight, who almost missed out on London last year due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.
'I've had a couple of problems in the past with my shoulder and my achilles but everything seems to be going really well.
'I've been able to train hard. I've been working hard to keep the injuries away as well, which helps, but I'm waking up each morning and feeling great.'
Ogogo's weigh-in is scheduled for today, but he insists he won't indulge in any of the normal 'trash talk' with Gray that so often precedes top fights.
His Telford opponent's record of five wins, 13 defeats and one draw, might not inspire too much anticipation of an upset but Ogogo insists he will treat his opponent with respect.
'I'm not up for talking down my opponent,' he said. 'There's a place for it and I might get dragged into it in the future but not in my first fight. It's my first fight and I don't want to ruffle too many feathers.
'I've watched other professional boxers at press conferences saying stupid things and I know it's not really them because I've often met them and they're a nice bloke.
'I like to think I'm a nice guy and I don't want anyone to think 'who does he think he is saying that when he hasn't even made his professional debut yet'.'